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Simplified Anatomy of the Retina

Retina Associates

Located in Tucson, Arizona, Retina Associates provides specialized care for conditions involving the retina, the specialized layers of cells in the rear of the eye responsible for human sight. At Retina Associates, Dr. Cameron Javid and his colleagues help patients to understand their retinal disorders and options for treatment.

A healthy human retina contains 10 layers of cells, each of which serves a vital function in the retina's ability to receive light and transform it into visual signals that the brain can process. Closest to the rear of the eye are the sclera, choroid, and retinal pigment epithelium, the latter two of which play essential roles in providing nutrients to the retinal cells.

The next layer in toward the center of the eye includes the photoreceptors, known also as rods and cones. Cones occur in highest concentration toward the macula, or center of the retina, and are responsible for detailed and color vision, while rods facilitate peripheral and night vision.
Beyond the rods and cones lie horizontal and bipolar cells that interface to communicate signals from the photoreceptor cells to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is made up of ganglia that accept information directly from the bipolar cells and use it to perceive shapes, color, and contrast. This data then travels to the brain, which integrates the separate signals into what human beings recognize as sight.

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